Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Growing Up Together September 21, 2012

Last weekend I got to spend the day with one of my oldest and dearest friends. I’ve mentioned her before; she’s the friend I’ve known since I was about four, have remained in touch with over the years, and who reached out across the 6,000 miles that now separate us to make plans to reconnect in person. In the past year, we’ve managed to get together somewhere in the world on four different occasions.

As we walked around San Francisco last weekend, she hooked her arm in mine and said, “I’m so glad we get to grow up together.”

I laughed at first. We’re both 42 (and a half.) Surely we’re done growing up. We’ve shared so many life experiences over the years and we’ve traveled together through relationship ups and downs and major life upheavals. We’ve each dealt with health issues that have changed the course of our lives, and both of us have families of two. Over the years we’ve shared stories and laughs, and we’ve shopped, eaten, tested cocktails, and hiked. We’ve been through so much together and there is still so much more ahead of us. We are still growing up and I am very glad that we get to do it together, even if not always in the same corner of the world.

Who are you growing up with? Who do you sometimes take for granted, but who is always there, growing up alongside you? Give that person a shout-out today and let them know how glad you are to have them in your life.

 

How are you doing? September 22, 2011

Recently I spoke to my very good friend (let’s call her Sally) who is childfree because of a serious illness that left her unexpectedly infertile. Sally has a wonderful partner and a fulfilling career and is coming to terms with the fact that children are now out of the question for her.

I enjoyed being able to have a conversation about being childfree with someone who is a dear friend and also a kindred spirit. She understood what I’d been through and understood the importance of finding someone trustworthy to talk to.

We talked about her illness and she said something that really struck a chord with me. “No one ever asks me how I’m doing.”

Sometimes I think that people assume because a disease has been “cured” that there are no lasting repercussions or emotional scars. Or maybe that because someone doesn’t talk about personal aspects of their life (or, in the case of my friend, isn’t the type to complain) that they must be “doing okay” or that they’re “over it.” But often that isn’t the case.

I hope I’ve been the kind of friend that has checked in often with Sally and given her the opportunity to talk if she’s needed to. I certainly know that next time I speak to her, I’ll make a point a point of asking, not just how she’s doing generally, but how she’s doing specifically, with the after-effects of her illness.

And I’m also going to check in with you here. How are you doing, not just today, but in the bigger picture of your life as it stands? Let me know what’s going on with you, and maybe make a point of checking in with a friend who’s been through a traumatic experience in the past, and who might not be doing as well as he/she appears.